MEXICO CITY, June 3, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A letter written by the Cardinal of Mexico City, Most Rev. Norberto Rivera Carrera to the Canadian Bishops Conference says that the Jesuit run Miguel Austin Pro Centre (PRODH) “does NOT represent the sentiments of the Church and has been characterized by its support and encouragement of groups and activities that are an affront to Christian values.” Until recently PRODH was a partner of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (D&P), the Canadian bishops’ international development arm.
“With respect to the theme of defence of life, the organization has supported pro-abortion groups and promoted the purported woman’s right over her body, against unborn life,” said a translation of the letter obtained by The Catholic Register.
The letter confirms the reasoning behind the decision of Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast to refuse to permit the then-leader of PRODH, Jesuit priest Fr. Luis Arriaga, from speaking in his archdiocese last month. After the archbishop met with Development and Peace (D&P) director Michael Casey, funding for PRODH was also cut.
Archbishop Prendergast’s decision has received severe criticism from leftists within the Quebec branch of D&P. The Quebec newspaper Le Devoir quoted Fr. Claude Lacaille in a couple of articles criticizing Archbishop Prendergast and other ‘English’ bishops for failing to back D&P.
Lacaille was even more explicit in a document published on the website of Fr. Raymond Gravel. The priest called Archbishop Prendergast’s decision to cancel Fr. Arriaga’s speaking engagements “arrogant and ignorant,” and called for D&P supporters to “publicly denounce” Prendergast and other Ontario bishops for their “inquisitorial attitude.”
Four prominent members of D&P have also written an open letter telling the bishops that while the bishops’ committee on D&P can have an advisory role at D&P, they should not interfere with internal management.
A website has also been published with videos of D&P members giving prepared statements expressing their frustrations with the bishops, accusing them of listening to ‘right wing’ and ‘extremist’ groups and interfering with the lay-run D&P.
The same website has launched a petition to D&P Executive Director Michael Casey telling him not to “be intimidated or paralyzed by the devious and misleading attacks of fundamentalist movements seeking Conservative support in Episcopate Canada.” It warns against “playing diplomatic games with those bishops who have sworn taking control of DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE” and tells Casey to “put aside the fear to face the political conservatism that plagues our society and our churches.” On Wednesday a Montreal union encouraged their membership to sign the petition.
The letter from the Mexican cardinal, however, confirms LifeSiteNews’ own assessment of the group in 2009, which was contradicted by the highly controversial Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) ‘investigation.’ That investigation was not an independent investigation by the bishops, instead relying heavily on Development and Peace, with the head of D&P, Michael Casey, reportedly co-authoring the report, according to one of the bishops who was involved in the investigation.
Relying on that faulty CCCB report, the Superiors of the Jesuit provinces of English and French Canada, as well as Mexico, issued a letter last week in support of PRODH. When LifeSiteNews called the French Jesuit Superior to speak about the matter on or off the record, the French Superior Jean-Marc Biron’s office refused all dialogue.